Uri attack was an attack by four heavily armed terrorists on 18 September 2016, near the town of Uri in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was reported as “the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades”. At the time of the attack, the Kashmir Valley region was at the centre of unrest, during which 85 civilians were killed and thousands injured in clashes with security forces. Pakistan seems unbalanced complaining about Indian aggression at UN and P-5, which it then says actually never happened. Contradictory!
However, this is not the first such attack this year. There is an increase in infiltration bids by terrorists from across Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir during this year. Poonch attack, Pulwama, Khawaja Bagh attack, Kupwara attack, Pampore attack, Pathankot airbase attack have caused more suffering than we can even imagine.
India conducted “surgical strikes” in response to the attacks mentioned. I, however, think our media is creating “hype” by re-branding cross-border fire as surgical strikes. Also, I have looked up recent developments confirming credibility and authenticity of strikes. Regardless of what the media keeps yammering.
First, that this wasn’t the first case of across-the-LoC surgical attacks is something security experts have said on multiple platforms. Even during the time of the UPA government, there were cross-border raids. Former Congress minister P Chidambaram has gone on record as saying that the army had conducted major surgical strikes across the LoC in 2013. (But who knows! Politicians say whatever, whenever they want.) It’s just that those operations were not announced to the world by the then government. The army was always vigilant and always did its job, whether or not its actions were publicized.
Second, no one can deny that for the ruling government, the recent surgical strike has been a major face-saver, after the Uri attack. Emotions were riding high and every Indian craved Pakistani blood — war or otherwise. Government had good political reasons to walk the talk and show the world that the glory of their 56-inch chest isn’t a myth. If he failed to act, the inaction would have backfired badly.
A couple of days back, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, Congress leaders P. Chidambaram and Sanjay Nirupam asked for proof of the action. Whether this question — doubting an army operation — is warranted or not is a matter of larger debate.
Raising questions is the prerogative our democracy offers to its citizens: The promise of free speech. Every citizen of India has an absolute right to ask questions to the elected government, and guess what, even the unpleasant ones. That’s what distinguishes this country from a bogus republic in our neighbourhood where the government works by remote control. The jawans who risked their lives in the darkness of 29 September don’t expect any congratulatory words or rewards. They do their duty silently and don’t need to explain this to anyone. The onus, obviously, lies with the elected government to answer the questions.